Wildtype — a startup that makes sushi-grade cultivated salmon — announced today that its pilot plant is operational. Located in San Francisco, the first-of-its-kind facility substantially expands the company’s production capabilities and will be home to the world’s first space for cultivated seafood tastings and education. The pilot plant’s near-term capacity is approximately 50,000 pounds of seafood per year. At maximum capacity, the plant will be able to produce upwards of 200,000 pounds per year.
“Global demand for seafood is outpacing supply, so the status quo needs to change. Our pilot plant will showcase the promise and wonder of growing fish fillets using cell cultivation,” said Wildtype co-founder, Aryé Elfenbein. “In addition to being designed to shorten innovation cycles and facilitate the scaling of food production, the facility will be a place where the public can learn about this fascinating new technology.”
The plant was designed by acclaimed architect Shuo Zhai. The purpose of the space—from the sushi bar, to the education center with bleacher seating, to the glass door separating the tasting room from the production floor—is to help people learn about cellular agriculture and give them the opportunity to taste cultivated seafood for themselves. The sushi bar is slated to be operational in the next 2-3 months.
“Wildtype wants to establish a high standard of education, trust, and transparency with our customers and the public,” said Justin Kolbeck, Wildtype co-founder. “We want to show people where their food comes from and how it’s made.” Kolbeck describes the new space in detail in a recent blogpost.
2021 has been a year of rapid growth for the cultivated protein industry. Singapore recently became the first country to approve the sale of cell-cultivated meat; the FDA is currently moving through its own pre-market consultation process. A recent study in the journal Foods showed 8 in 10 people would consider cell-cultivated meats when available.
Wildtype is a San Francisco startup using cellular agriculture to grow cultivated seafood. Co-founded by Justin Kolbeck and Aryé Elfenbein, Wildtype’s mission is to address global food insecurity and improve ocean health by producing clean, sustainable seafood. www.wildtypefoods.com